Financial management

Local Government Act Review

​As part of the State Government’s reform agenda, a new Local Government Act will be drafted.

Our vision is for the local government sector to be agile, smart and inclusive. Our objective is to transform local government so that it is empowered to better deliver quality governance and services to their communities now and into the future.

We are looking at financial management as an area of reform.​

The current system

  • Local governments fund and deliver critical infrastructure and services to their communities.
  • Total annual sector operating expenditure exceeds $4 billion.
  • Asset base is worth more than $40 billion.
  • In 2016-17, more than $1.1 billion was spent on materials and services.


The department undertook consultation on the topic of financial management during stage two of the Local Government Act review consultation.

Financial management summary discussion paper

Financial management discussion paper

The following sections outline what was heard during consultation and how feedback will inform a new Local Government Act.

What you’ve told us

  • Local governments make a big contribution to local jobs because they spend a lot on goods and services.
  • Local governments need purchasing rules that provide certainty for the public and opportunities for economic growth.
  • Local governments can deliver more by wisely managing public money through investments and sensible approaches to borrowing.
  • The Act needs to empower local governments to manage finances prudently and maximise revenue.

Ideas for change

  • Align purchasing rules with the State Government.
  • Change the threshold for advertising public tenders.
  • Modernise rules for investments.
  • Modernise rules for borrowing.


A summary paper which outlines what we heard from the consultation is now available. The contribution of community members, local governments and others who have supported the process to date will provide valuable input to the Local Government Review Panel and help transform local government in Western Australia.

Local Government Act Review Overview - agile

Local Government Act Review Overview: agile

In 2017 the State Government announced a review of the Local Government Act 1995 — the first significant review since the Act was introduced more than two decades ago.

Download documents

Page reviewed 26 February 2020